Cooking with fresh, local produce is a great way to do something wonderful for your health, the environment, and the sustainability of the local economy! This segment of Sustainable Ventura News visits with Executive Chef Rachel Main Holst of Main Course California located at 1363 Donlon Street, Suite 11, Ventura, Ca. Chef Rachel whips up a fantastic dish, “Sautéed Spot Prawns with Avocado & Citrus Salsa,” prepared with local produce direct from farm to table!
Sautéed Spot Prawns with Avocado & Citrus Salsa
Recipe by Executive Chef Rachel Main Holst, Main Course California
Serves 2 people
For the Prawns:
- 8 Santa Barbara Spot Prawns
- 1 tsp minced garlic & shallot
- 1 Meyer Lemon, Sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 3-4 strips preserved Meyer lemon peel, optional
- Splash of Pernod or dry vermouth
- 1 T. grapeseed oil
- Sea salt & black pepper to taste
- Clean the spot prawns: Holding the prawn in your hand, use scissors to cut the prawn’s shell along the back. Cut all the way from the base of the head to the tip of the tail. Remove the black vein from the prawn’s back. Do this for each prawn. (If the prawn is carrying roe on it’s underbelly, simply scrape the roe from the belly. Save the roe for another dish, or you can smoke the roe using a hand-held smoker and following the manufacturer’sinstructions. Smoked roe is a great garnish for this dish. It is also great mixed with cream cheese and fresh chopped herbs & spread on crackers.)
- Heat the oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron saute pan over medium flame. Place the prawns in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the shell is reddish-orange and the tail meat is opaque on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
- Once the shrimp is done on the one side, flip all of the spot prawns over, and immediately add the garlic and shallot to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the garlic and shallots are fragrant. Add a splash of pernod, and cook, shaking the pan often, for another minute or so. Add the meyer lemon and peel (if you are using) and cook another 1-2 minutes. Season with Salt & Pepper to taste.
For the Salsa:
- 1 head organic fennel, washed
- 1 avocado
- 1 golden nugget tangerine
- 1 cara cara navel orange
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp good olive oil
- Using a mandolin, slice the fennel into paper thin sheets. Set aside.
- Halve the avocado, and slice, using a cross-hatch pattern, into ¼ inch cubes. Scoop the avocado out into a bowl.
- Using a sharp knife, trim the very top and bottom ¼ inch from both citrus. Set the fruit on end, and carefully cut the skin from its flesh, beginning at the top and following the curves down. Then, carefully cut out each section of the fruit by inserting the blade of the knife between the flesh and the membrane on both sides. The wedges should come out easily, leaving only the membrane intact.
- Place the citrus wedges in the bowl with the avocado, season with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.
For the Parsley Butter:
- 1 bunch parsley, stemmed, washed, dried, and roughly chopped
- ½ pound butter, softened
- Pinch of salt.
- Add all ingredients into a food processor. Blend until the parsley and butter are pureed and the butter is bright green.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill.
To plate Sautéed Spot Prawns with Avocado & Citrus Salsa:
To Serve the dish, arrange the shaved fennel on two plates. Place four prawns on top of the fennel. Drizzle some of the pan juices over the prawns. Spoon the avocado citrus salsa around the shrimp. Enjoy!